Chiropractor Under Investigation for Dangling Newborn Upside Down

Chiropractor Under Investigation for Dangling Newborn Upside Down February 20, 2019

An Australian chiropractor is under fire for a controversial treatment he performed on a two-week-old baby.  In the video, Dr. Andrew Arnold dangles the baby upside down by his ankles while the baby cries. He then uses a spring-loaded device to manipulate his spine, neck, and collarbone. The chiropractor insists the treatments improve colic. However, Australian health officials say the treats are risky and in some cases can lead to death.

Initially uploaded in August, the video shows a controversial technique used on infants to improve colic. During the video, Dr. Arnold uses a spring-loaded device called an activator on the baby’s hips, neck and shoulder.

Before using the activator, he tells the parents the device is on the lowest setting and will not hurt. After placing the tool on the baby, he pulls the trigger, and viewers hear a forceful pop. After the loud pop, the baby begins crying in pain.

Later in the video, Dr. Arnold taps on the baby’s head and feet. Then the chiropractor picks up the baby by his ankles and dangles him upside down.

Naturally, when the video was uploaded by the Herald Sun, there was an immediate backlash. Social media went wild with many people calling the practice abusive, cruel, and dangerous.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikako called the video deeply disturbing.

“This vision is deeply disturbing,” she said. “It’s appalling that young children and infants are being exposed to potential harm,”

The minister called on the CBA to condemn the practice of treating infants, saying it was “unprofessional and unacceptable”.

She also urged AHPRA to “act quickly to stop these rogue practitioners in their tracks”

Minister Mikako stated that the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Royal Australian College of Physicians caution against spinal manipulations of children.

“Newborn babies are extremely fragile and it’s important to be aware that the damage done to an infant may not be obvious immediately and may not manifest until years later,” Ms Mikakos said.

Spinal manipulation of infants is not illegal in Australian. Numerous chiropractors offer adjustments to help infants with a range of issues. However, there is no scientific evidence the adjustments help to treat any ailments in babies or children.

However, there is data that shows adjustments can be extremely detrimental to babies and children. In 2009, an infant in Europe died after a cranial-sacral therapist manipulated her neck. Then in 2012, an Australian chiropractor broke the vertebrae of a 4-month-old. The baby had received an adjustment to treat torticollis.

A study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics highlighted the dangers associated with chiropractic adjustments on children. In a review of eight major medical databases, the authors found that adjustments led to paralysis, brain bleeds, headaches, and soreness.

Additionally, the study found parent’s using chiropractors instead of doctors to treat serious illnesses delayed proper diagnosis and treatment for certain cancers, diabetes, and meningitis.

Many chiropractors have gone rogue and moved beyond spinal manipulations for adults and children. These practitioners claim they can treat serious diseases through spinal manipulation, nutrition, and supplements. Despite their promises to cure the disorders, there is no evidence to support their claims.

Often, parents that use chiropractors to treat illness and disease forego traditional medical care. In Illinois, Amber Hampshire attempted to manage her daughter’s diabetes without insulin. Instead, her daughter saw a chiropractor. Emily Hampshire died in November 2018 from diabetic ketoacidosis.

Tara Lovett of Alberta, Canada took her son to a chiropractor that she believed had the same level of training as a medical doctor. Her son, Ryan, died from meningitis, pneumonia, and a streptococcal infection after being sick for ten days.

With outrage brewing from the now viral video, numerous people are calling for discipline against Dr. Andrew Arnold. Victorian Health Minister requested The Chiropractic Board of Australia condemn the treatment used by Dr. Arnold and review the case for potential punishment.

In response, The Chiropractic Board of Australia said they are in the process of reviewing the video,

“The board has made a strong statement about the care of children and has written to every chiropractor in Australia to warn them to comply with their professional and ethical obligations, which are clearly outlined in the board’s code of conduct for chiropractors,” a spokeswoman said.

Whether the government will do anything to stop the practice remains unknown.

“Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews he was concerned by “that sort of alleged care” after seeing photographs of the treatment of the newborn.

“That’s why the government’s taken action, and Minister Mikakos the Health Minister has forwarded that onto the national body so they can have a close look at what’s gone on in that case,” he said.

“Not only is it quite confronting to look at, but the notion that that’s some sort of a cure for autism, for instance, that needs to be looked at very closely, and that’s why we’ve acted.”

 

 

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • David Rice

    All chiropractics belong in prison, then in Hell.

  • Tawreos

    If they are so certain that these treatments work then why aren’t they having them tested the same way as all new treatments should be? If they work then they can prove it and use it and if not they need to knock off endangering peoples lives with their bullshit.

  • 100!

  • WallofSleep

    My family has been in the tank for chiropractic since I was a kid. My grandma’s last chiropractor was a full-on anti-vaxxer who believed regular chiropractic adjustments would prevent every ailment and disease known to man, including cavities in teeth. smh

  • yep, they are charlatans of the worst kind

  • WallofSleep

    I’m just glad that I was lucky to live long enough to learn what charlatans they are. Many young, healthy people have had fatal strokes just days after getting a neck adjustment. I’ve had many such adjustments as a kid growing up. My family is dumb.

  • (((Hornèd Pontilibratificus)))

    My insurance will pay for up to 50(!) chiropractic appointments per plan year. I guess there was a landmark case back in the day against the AMA, and the chiropracty scheme has been coasting on it ever since.

  • (((Hornèd Pontilibratificus)))

    My aunt believes that regular enemas are a panacea for whatever ails ya’. I can’t imagine how these people don’t get tripped up trying to breathe!

  • WallofSleep

    “My aunt believes that regular enemas are a panacea for whatever ails ya’.”

    I probably would too, if I weren’t so reliably regular. Even if I were butt-fugly, I would still wind up having a solid record of being hit on more times than I’ve been constipated.

  • Sophotroph

    I would say your aunt is full of shit, but…

  • (((Hornèd Pontilibratificus)))

    Ha! Good one. 😉 Yeah, she’s a nutter, alright. She also thinks the moon landing was faked and that Elvis is still alive. **shaking head**

  • 24CaratHooligan

    OK I know it’s a different treatment but I took the Cub to an Osteopath when she was 5 weeks old. The poor little dab was basically in a spiral due to prolonged and complicated labour (ventouse, forceps, the works) and he straightened her out. Beforehand she couldn’t sleep, couldn’t move her head to the left, could barely feed, couldn’t breathe properly. Afterwards she became the world’s most chill baby ever and is now the world’s most chill 18 y/o who pats me on the head and says “yes dear”. I’m not advocating swinging newborns around by their ankles, or using these things to treat diabetes but it’s worth investigating in some cases. Oh and she’s also fully vaccinated, on schedule, even HPV.

  • Carra McClelland

    They are not going rogue. This is the basis for Chiropractic, that spinal manipulation can cure all manner of things.

    https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/chirosub.html